What do the feats of gymnastics have to do with honor and integrity?
All too often many of us confuse the call to honor with never making a mistake, never failing. To have honor is never easy. To be perfect is impossible.
The true challenge is to ask: "Are we committed to asking ourselves the right questions?"
An athlete's training can teach us about the vigilance of honor, perhaps none more so than the gymnast's struggle for perfection.
In the eighth spot of our series, entitled "Prepare,” we look at the disciplined preparation, both internally and externally, of a female athlete readying herself to compete as a member of the USNA crew team. Women voices are both powerful and unique and provide new opportunities to examine questions of honor and choice.
In this second spot in our crew series, entitled "It’s Personal," we examine some of the greater principles involving both women and choice. Traditionally, water is considered a feminine element. It is no mistake that the traditions reference both the sea and the vessels that navigate upon it as feminine and to our very country as our "motherland.”
Perhaps in understanding the unique voice and strength of women in Naval and Marine culture, we will better grasp our true responsibilities as officers, both male and female.
In the summer of 1960, two young men joined the ranks of the United States Naval Academy. Four years later they would both graduate and become naval pilots carrying out missions off aircraft carriers in Southeast Asia. Eventually, a week apart, each would be shot down over North Vietnam and each spend the next 5 1/2 years tortured, isolated and imprisoned as prisoners of war. They really came to know each other through tapping coded messages and stories about their lives and hopes to each other through their prison walls. To this day Captain Charlie Plumb and Captain Read Mecleary remain close friends.